Anthony Bourdain Actually Created His Own Twitter Trolls For Fun

Throughout his public-facing career, the late chef, author, and television personality Anthony Bourdain came to be known for his sharp wit and casually irreverent, sometimes self-deprecating, attitude on screen and in print. But during the final years of Bourdain's life, his particular brand of snark arguably shined best on one particular medium: Twitter. Between his biting cultural commentary (seen in this post) to his infamous feud with actor Alec Baldwin that culminated with him tweeting that "The 30 Rock" star was "too dumb to pour piss out of a boot" (via Vulture), it seems the "Parts Unknown" star always had an endless string of hilarious comebacks and smart opinions ready to be doled out within a moment's notice — and with limited character counts.

However, despite Bourdain's impressive Twitter savvy, it's unlikely anyone would have argued against the fact that being a public figure on social media then (as now) required having a thick skin. Bourdain's Twitter still has 6.7 million followers, which — when he was active on the app — made him an easy target for trolling, especially given the fact that he frequently Tweeted about social issues. During the height of the #MeToo movement, he was tagged by some Twitter users questioning his association with chef Mario Batali, who had been accused of sexual assault.

And while many celebs have a PR squad to help avoid situations like this, according to Morgan Neville, director of "Roadrunner," a documentary about Bourdain's life, the late personality's approach to handling social media was a little more unconventional and involved taking matters into his own hands. Or perhaps even creating them. Neville told Fine Dining Lovers, "[Bourdain] actually created fake identities of people so he could troll himself and get into fights with them." 

Bourdain genuinely enjoyed using Twitter

If you're wondering why Bourdain would go to all the trouble, the answer is quite simple: He genuinely got a kick out of using Twitter. As Neville remarked, "It was a perfect format for somebody as smart and snarky as he was." In fact, Bourdain was adamant about having full control over what he Tweeted under his name, and as such, he insisted on having his own account separate from "Parts Unknown (via Television Academy Foundation) where he remarked in an interview, "I didn't want anyone handling my Twitter account [for me]."

A big reason for that was because, while Bourdain viewed Twitter as a great opportunity to grow his brand, he also saw it as a genuinely enjoyable platform. During the same interview with Television Academy Foundation, the star spoke about his likeness for the app, expressing an appreciation for how it encouraged creativity. "Try to be communicative and amusing in 140 characters. That's fun!" he remarked. "So I use Twitter for fun, I guess kind of."

It seems that fun came through for Bourdain when developing his faux Twitter trolls. Per Neville, Bourdain practically fleshed them out as full-on characters who criticized him. "One was a barista from San Francisco that rode Vespas," Neville noted.

Though we've yet to come across one of these hilariously fabricated exchanges with this imaginary SF-based coffee maker in our research, the knowledge that Bourdain saw humor in otherwise frivolous social media fights is a reminder of how he always saw an opportunity for fun, which makes us miss him even more.